Google has always toed the line between respecting user privacy and making money off targeted ads, but things came to a head last month when the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the company due to antitrust allegations. Now it looks like more litigation is on the horizon from state attorneys hoping to add fuel to the fire — and Google isn't the only company under scrutiny.
According to the Wall Street Journal, up to four new antitrust lawsuits are in the works against Google and Facebook, including one that is broadly similar in nature to the DOJ's suit. A coalition of state attorneys general led by Colorado is planning to file a case against Google over its search business and how smaller, specialized search engines like Yelp are being unfairly impacted by Google's monopoly. Phil Weiser, the Colorado AG, said that any case filed would be consolidated with the DOJ's case — which Google has claimed is "deeply flawed."
That's not all, though; a different coalition of attorneys general led by Ken Paxton, the AG of Texas, is working to bring yet another lawsuit to the table. Instead of complaints regarding search practices, this litigation would target Google's massive online-advertising business. This suit could be filed as soon as mid-December — just in time to dump some coal into the holiday season of Google's lawyers.
While these suits are unlikely to be resolved anytime soon, they are yet another indication that public opinion is starting to shift more to the side of consumers and their data privacy. Google isn't the only big tech company facing increasing scrutiny, and antitrust lawsuits against Facebook are also likely to be filed soon. What happens during the next few years as these and other lawsuits play out has the power to reshape the internet — but for better or worse?